Thursday, April 27, 2006

Cunningham Prostitution Scandal Fallout Grows

TPM Muckraker suggests that the Wilkes/Wade/Cunningham prostitution scandal could be a yawning pit that sucks in a large number of legislators. At the top of the list, CIA chief, Porter Goss. The Muckrakers link to an article from by Ken Silverstein at Harpers that seems to pinpoint the CIA chief's involvement back in his congressional days.
I've learned from a well-connected source that those under intense scrutiny by the FBI are current and former lawmakers on Defense and Intelligence comittees—including one person who now holds a powerful intelligence post. I've also been able to learn the name of the limousine service that was used to ferry the guests and other attendees to the parties: Shirlington Limousine and Transportation of Arlington, Virginia. Wilkes, I've learned, even hired Shirlington as his personal limousine service.
"Current and former lawmakers on Defense and Intelligence committees." This could blow the roof off of the congress of corruption.

As the Wall Street Journal points out, Cunningham was bribed by Wilkes and Wade, but most of the other members of congress only got large campaign contributions from the pair. Not illegal and no clearly defined quid pro quo. However, if providing sex to members of congress becomes the issue - then a clear quid pro quo could be established.
Proof of the prostitution scheme, on the other hand, could provide potentially damaging evidence that Mr. Wilkes had taken illegal steps in exchange for legislative favors, people involved in the investigation said.
The Republican congress of corruption always seems to be able to sink lower.